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Sun Belt Conference Baseball: Weekend Preview

Five big series’ highlight the sixth weekend of Sun Belt Conference baseball play this week.

After four weekends of play, Louisiana is 14-1, while Arkansas St. is 10-5, Texas St. and UT-Arlington are both 8-7, WKU and ULM are both 7-8, South Alabama and Troy are both 6-8, Georgia St. is 5-10, and UALR is 3-12.
Let’s take a look at the respective conference series’ schedule for this weekend, with  statistics entering play earlier in the week:

#1 LOUISIANA (34-4, 11-1) at UT-ARLINGTON (16-21, 8-7)

Offensively, Louisiana ranks first in the league in almost every category, including hitting (.327), runs scored (319), home runs (46), and stolen bases (64).

The Cajuns have the top four in the conference, including Jace Conrad, who leads the way (.386), Caleb Adams (.369), who ranks second, Dylan Butler (.367), who ranks third, and Seth Harrison (.362), who ranks fourth.

UT-Arlington, who is currently hitting a .290, good enough for third in the league, is paced by Matt Shortall and Ryan Bottger, who are hitting a .349 and a .347, respectively, which rank ninth and tenth in the league

In terms of pitching, Louisiana ranks first, with a 3.11 team ERA., and is way above UALR, who is currently second, at a 3.73.

The Cajuns feature right-hander Carson Baranik, who ranks first in the league in ERA. (2.40), and Austin Robichaux, who ranks sixth (2.92).

UT-Arlington ranks seventh in the league in pitching, with a 4.37 ERA.

Louisiana, who has won 34 of their last 37, and the fact that they rank first in the league in pitching, hitting, and fielding are big reasons why.

Game times are scheduled for 6:30 pm, 2 pm, and 1 o’clock (cdt),  Friday-Sunday.


SOUTH ALABAMA (16-20, 6-8) at WKU (19-17, 7-8)  

South Alabama dropped a series to Arkansas St. last week, while WKU dropped a series to Troy, and this one looks to be interesting, with both teams looking to finish in the upper-half of the league.

Offensively, South Alabama ranks tenth in hitting (.236), while WKU ranks in fourth (.284).

Pitching-wise the Jaguars ranks third in ERA. (3.73), while the Hilltoppers currently rank eighth (4.91).

Game times are set for 6 pm, 3 pm, and 1 pm (cdt) Friday-Sunday


ULM (16-23, 7-8) at ARKANSAS ST. (21-16, 10-5)

ULM is three games behind Arkansas St. for the second spot, with a chance to make-up some ground this weekend.

In the hitting department, ULM ranks ninth (.240), with Arkansas St. is in fifth (.271).

In terms of pitching, the Warhawks currently rank last as a team (6.03), while the Red Wolves rank fifth (4.00).

Scheduled game times are 6 pm (cdt) on Friday, 6 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.


GEORGIA ST. (17-20, 5-10) at TEXAS ST. (19-17, 8-7)

This is a key series for both schools, who are in the middle of the pack. Texas St. is only two games out of second place, and Georgia St. is only two games out of fifth place.

Georgia St. ranks second in hitting (.302) and ninth in pitching (5.77 ERA.), while Texas St. ranks eight in hitting (.252) and fourth in pitching (3.82).

Game times are set for 6:30 pm, 3 pm, and 1 o’clock (cdt), Friday-Sunday.


TROY (19-18, 6-8) at UALR (14-20, 3-12)

As is the case in every series this weekend, this one is important, with Troy looking to make up some ground on the teams above them, and UALR looking to jump-start their seasons.

Offensively, UALR ranks seventh in hitting (.255), while Troy is hitting a .271, good enough for a tie for fifth the league. They are paced by David Hall, who is eighth, overall, hitting a .352, along with six home runs and 25 RBI’s.

In the pitching category, the UALR is currently second (3.73 ERA.), while Troy ranks fifth (4.23).

Game times for the series are 6 pm (cdt) on Friday, 4 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.

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